When will the furnace go out? It’s the kind of question that keeps homeowners up late at night. Along with the best parts of home ownership – a stable nest for one’s family, investment equity, a place to call one’s own – there are also plenty of potential pitfalls, such as unexpected appliance replacement and plumbing problems, to name just a couple.
Recognizing the challenges homeowners face in planning for replacement expenses, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a study on the life expectancy of housing components. The following are a few of their research findings.
Appliances: Gas ranges will last the longest (about 15 years), while compactors will only last about six years. Dryers and refrigerators are in the middle, at 13 years, and dishwashers and microwaves can be expected to last about 9 years. The NAHB points out that appliances are often replaced not out of necessity, but due to changing trends and styles.
Roofing, windows, & siding: Aluminum windows should last between 15 and 20 years; wooden windows can function well for more than 30 years. Roofing’s life expectancy is dependent on local weather conditions, design quality, maintenance and material. For the longest-lasting roof, opt for slate, copper or clay roofing – these materials can last more than 50 years. Asphalt shingle roofs should last about 20 years; wood shakes will last for 30 years. Brick, vinyl and stone siding should last as long as the home exists.
Countertops and cabinetry: You can expect natural stone countertops to last a lifetime. Cultured marble countertops should last a couple of decades. Expect the kitchen cabinets above your counters to last up to 50 years.
Given that certain home features must be replaced rather frequently (kitchen faucets, for instance, are only slated to last for 15 years) it makes good sense to buy a new home if you can, rather than settling for an older home with unknown replacement needs. And as long as you’re opting for a new home plan, why not go contemporary in style? This sleek, modern design style is classically beautiful. A modern home plan is universally appealing, so you won’t have to worry about replacing elements as trends shift.